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LAAAWPPI prepares to graduate its 14th class of new leaders


The Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAWPPI) has concluded its 2017 10-week comprehensive educational institute. A May 17 graduation ceremony will recognize the leadership skills acquired by the 21 participants. Hon. Songhai Miguda-Armstead, LA County Superior Court Judge and LAAAWPPI alum, will be the commencement speaker.

“Now more than ever, we are excited about the impact these women will make in our society now that they have completed our LAAAWPPI leadership courses,” states board chair Angela Gibson-Shaw.  “The curriculum was designed especially to educate and inform African American women about the political process and prepare them to be more engaged in government and public policy,” Angela concluded.

Hosted on the campus of the University of Southern California, LAAAWPPI offers a 10-week educational institute for women interested in pursuing careers and opportunities as corporate leaders, elected officials, campaign consultants, public affairs consultants, fund-raisers, community activists, legislative staff members and members of boards and commissions. The instructors include individuals who have distinguished themselves in the public policy governmental affairs, and political arenas. The group’s ultimate goal is to create and train a talented pool of women prepared to assume leadership positions at the local, state, and national levels. Corporate sponsors include State Farm, Enterprise Holdings, Kaiser Permanente, So Cal Gas Company, Southern California Edison, AT&T, Turner Construction, GLAAACC, GeM Communications, US Bank, SEIU, Wells Fargo, Verizon and the University of Southern California.

Each session will focus on a different educational aspect of business, political and community leadership. Program components include role-play and evaluation of leadership skills.  There are also panel presentations with academic, corporate, public policy and community leaders. The course opens and closes with a session featuring renowned motivational speaker and life coach Barbara Young.

Organizers say a large part of LAAAWPPI’s value lies in the networking and exposure to some of Los Angeles’ top movers and shakers provided throughout the course.  Each week a range of guest speakers discuss the real world of politics, leadership and business.  “It’s really interesting, when we started the program women were just working in their own jobs.  Through LAAAWPPI, they become aware of all the political issues and they become active,” noted Joy Atkinson, LAAAWPPI’s executive director.

LAAAWPPI is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to prepare African American women for leadership in public policy, government and public affairs through its intensive leadership course. LAAAWPPI Founding Board Members include community and business leaders Melrita Evans-Fortson, Gwen Moore, Celestine Palmer, Barbara Perkins and Angela Reddock-Wright.